Author Topic: RCM conversion test  (Read 5838 times)

Offline Ron Losey

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RCM conversion test
« on: February 20, 2007, 11:33:11 am »
This thread is for discussion and beta test of the "Realistic Combat Model" - a damage rescale originally developed for Onin-no-Ran, but now in use or development on several other mods as well.  It is to be tested on this mod, and considered for incorporation.

The system is a general rescale, along the following lines:


First, consider that a human body is not as tough as a section of armor:

A solid suit of plate armor should have a protection value of 100 or more (per body section - if the torso armor adds to legs, then both leg armors added together).  Heavy lamellars, brigandines, and maille with trauma plates should come out in the 70 to 85 range.  Heavy maille without reinforcement around 60 (you can't cut it, but you can find your armor embedded into your body).  Non-metal armors between 20 and 45.  Clothing 10 and below.  If you want something like magic / super-quality - use a value like 120.  That would make it so that only the heaviest of weapons and/or characters with very high bonus could damage that area.  (Of course, they could still hit you somewhere else, if they realized the problem.)

Second, consider the business end of a weapon:

Sword damage - really big 2-hand swords around 80, maybe more.  Speed on those weapons down around 50.

Longswords and hand-and-a-half weapons around 50 - 65 (that's what I used for the Japanese Tachi in ONR - my personal preferred weapon in real life, and a more feared weapon the world has never seen) or a little higher if they're long or heavy.  Speeds 80 to 100, depending on the design.

(With minimal armor - 10 to 15 points or so - the damage value of 65 returns about a 50% chance of a debilitating hit against a 40 hit-point target.  More armor and/or skill/power strike bonuses will offset this somewhat.  Odds of surviving a second hit are nill.  Painfully realistic.)

Cut damage on short swords (Roman Gladius or its successors) and shorter falchions 45 to 50.  Also good for narrow blade sabers.  Speeds 100 to 120

Cut damage for daggers and knives around 25, plus or minus a few points. Speeds up to 150.

Stab wounds for all swords and knives need to be around 45 cut.  If it's longer than a pocketknife, that will be your results.  Ice picks and stiletto points would actually be lower, and pierce, but I didn't really see them in the game. 

Simple spears and pikes should also be around 45 cut, plus or minus a few depending on the design.  Speed about 80 to 90 for a simple, relatively short spear.  Slower for longer spears.  Something like an awl pike would need to be pierce damage, but a lower number - more penetration than damage.  Regular wide-point spears don't have this problem.

(Note that pierce damage only counts half the armor - so a 30 point awl point would require 60 points of armor to return a 50/50 chance of completely stopping it, or 120 points to be absolutely sure to stop it.  Even if your armor stops something like that, there's a good chance that a half-inch of that point will be on the meat side of the armor when it stops.)

Axes need to be about two thirds of the damage of a sword of similar weight and bulk, but it should be *pierce* damage.  This simulates the pattern of axes to tear armor to bits, but the narrow blade to do less total damage than longer cutting edges.  So, something like the Great Axe should be about pierce 65, and speed 50.  Hatchets should be about 30 pierce, speed 110.  Bonus against shields.

(My tests of axes against armor were horrifying.  It takes absurd levels of armor to stop an axe.  Plates that will turn handgun rounds crease under a simple industrial wood axe.)

War hammers should come out about the same as axes.  A little lighter (i.e. a bit faster) than axes of similar output, but drop the "bonus against shields".  Physics on an axe or a pick are just about the same.  Damage is similar in degree, allthough biologically different, if you figure that the pick will be driven in and torn out, like in combat.  "Flat" heads of war hammers are also not smooth or non-lethal - they tend to have spikes on them.

Non-combat mallets and sledge hammers can stay blunt damage.  Other rules same as war hammers.

Pole-axes and pole-hammers depend greatly on the design.  Spear points on the end are stab about 45 cut.  Strikes should come out pierce 50 to 65, but speed down around 40 again.

Bow damage should range from 45 *cut* for basic bows to around 65 for serious longbows/war bows.  Crossbows about the same or a little higher.  (Really big stuff like the arbalest could go up.)  Bow accuracy drops a little.  Crossbow accuracy stays 99.  (This pays for the longer reload time - crossbows are easy to aim.)

(Tests on animals - deer season - and doors of junk cars confirm the killing power of arrows.  Using the higher cut damage numbers, instead of pierce, comes out closer to arrow and bullet wound statistics.)

Thrown weapons are pretty pathetic.  Cut maybe 35 for throwing axe.  Accuracy down to 90 for javelin, lower for axes.  Drop the speed on the projectiles, so they can't be thrown very far.  In reality, a thrown weapon is only good for about ten paces - 15 if you're good.

Early guns of the period are around 50 to 60 pierce.  This will produce wound patterns similar to modern handguns - about 30% incapacitating on the first hit, 90% on the second.  Also produces good simulation of lead ball hitting metal armor.  Accuracy and rate of fire, of course, being not so hot.


Our math, based on real horses and what the programmers told me, said that the original M&B mount speeds need to be roughly doubled.  That is, double speed and maneuver.  Keep the ratio between speed and maneuver, because that is how the game simulates inertia. 

The obviously armored horses need armor values similar to their human-armor counterparts (the original M&B warhorse, obviously completely covered in European maille, should be about 70).  The ones whose armor is based on naturally tough hide or equipment like the saddle - keep them under 15.


That's the short form.  Sources on all of that data are, well, numerous - so I'll wait for questions to explain how I came to any of those conclusions.

If this is implemented properly, it should eliminate the weapon inflation you see in computer games, and let people use normal scale weapons - instead of every fight being staged with an axe as big as a stop sign.  (Not that I have anything against big axes.)

Again, this is being prepared for a beta test... It has not yet been decided upon, one way or the other.

Offline Hellequin

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Re: RCM conversion test
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2007, 12:09:29 pm »

On a first read, I like it, and can work with this.  That's what I was looking for in a summary.

Two notes:

1) As I understand the hardcoded mechanics, blunt and piercing are equivalent in terms of armour effects - both drop armour by half.  I haven't tested this.  If accurate, then I would make warhammers still blunt, small spikes or no.  A detail.  (And thus give it a slightly lower damage - blunt X is better than piercing X, both in regular - prisoners - and in Schattenlander - no prisoners, but a small chance of a Virtue gain for striving to disable instead of kill).

2) I'm concerned about the reduction in the value of imods, whose values we can't change the same way.  The Hardarmor and Strongedge potions impart an imod to the item, and I'd like that to remain relevant compared to the damage values.

I may well have further comments later, those are just first thoughts.
- Hellequin

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: RCM conversion test
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2007, 08:20:15 pm »
Well, three or four points from an imod may not double the effects like they used to.  However, relatively small changes do increase the probability of a first-hit kill ... which can prove quite valuable, if they have the potential to do the same to you.  If a "magic" effect increases damage by three or four points, while not increasing weight and decreasing speed (like a larger weapon would do), then it is valuable.  This is made possible by much greater variations in speed with increases in weapon size... i.e. the cost of inflicting more damage is high.

Blunt and pierce are coded the same, except blunt is non-lethal.  I chose which ones should be blunt and which should be pierce off of realistic damage - a flanged mace is very deadly, while a smooth-edge blunt weapon (like a wooden maul) is less likely to cause directly fatal injuries.  It does add some challenge, and some feel - the non-lethal weapons are realistically less effective than their deadly counterparts.  Puts some cost into taking prisoners... you want them alive, you have to use realistically non-lethal, and therefore realistically inconvenient, weapons.


Edit:  I also noticed your guns are far too inaccurate.  They literally could miss a man 10 shots in a row from 10 feet away.

Here's an actual firing of some of those guns, and the pattern they shoot:

It's better than most people do with a bow, especially considering this guy had zero practice.  It's not "strike a match at 300 yards" like some modern rifles, but it puts lead on a human body at 25.

It also shows their armor penetration potential - fair against plate, but not 100%.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 10:11:57 pm by Ron Losey »

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: RCM conversion test
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2007, 11:38:29 pm »
In response to numerous requests, a retrofit of the RCM to M&B Native is now available on the File Repository:


Disclaimers with the download apply - this is intended as a resource to mods using the system, and is not a complete "mod" ... although it is playable.